The First Republic

Following the collapse of the Monarchy and the end of World War I, the new Republic of German-Austria was proclaimed on 12 November 1918. In the new regime politics was once again conducted from Ballhausplatz. The State Chancellor (later Federal Chancellor), the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs - later Minister of Foreign Affairs - and the Federal President, who was first elected in December 1920 by the Federal Assembly, all had their offices at the Federal Chancellery, as the building now came to be known.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was dissolved in 1920 during the course of an administrative reform and the foreign policy portfolio assigned to two departments at the Federal Chancellery.

The Dollfuss Memorial
The Dollfuss Memorial in the Marble Corner Salon photo BPD/imb

The building was not spared the violence of the First Republic. On 25 July 1934, the Federal Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss (1892–1934) was assassinated in the Federal Chancellery during an attempted coup by illegal National Socialists. According to eye witnesses, Dollfuss tried to flee through a door leading to the State Archives, which was, however, locked. He thus ran back to reach a hidden spiral staircase in the Stone Room. On the way there he was murdered by two Nazi revolutionaries in the Marble Corner Salon.

Cover of the "Freie Presse" - Dollfuß's death
The "Freie Presse" wrote on 26 July: "For several hours the Chancellor lay on the couch of his office without medical assistance, before his soul departed at approximately 18.00." photo Austrian National Library